New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said it respects the right to privacy and the requirement of tracing origin of flagged messages under the new IT rules is for prevention and investigation of ”very serious offences” related to the sovereignty of India or public order.
AdvertisementIn a statement, the IT Ministry termed WhatsApp’s last moment challenge to the intermediary guidelines as an unfortunate attempt to prevent norms from coming into effect.
The UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada require social media firms to allow for legal interception, it said, adding, ”What India is asking for is significantly much less than what some of the other countries have demanded.” ”Therefore, WhatsApp’s attempt to portray the Intermediary Guidelines of India as contrary to the right to privacy is misguided,” the official statement said. The government recognises that ‘Right to Privacy’ is a fundamental right and is committed to ensure the same to its citizens, it said.
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Advertisement”Such requirements are only in case when the message is required for prevention, investigation or punishment of very serious offences related to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, or public order, or of incitement to an offence relating to the above or in relation with rape, sexually explicit material or child sexual abuse material,” the statement said. The Centre’s response comes after WhatsApp filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court challenging the government’s new digital rules, arguing that the requirement for the company to provide access to encrypted messages will break privacy protections.